Telework (telecommuting) allows an employee to use technology to work from home or an alternate worksite. The UW recognizes telework as an option that can meet a variety of interests, including:
Telework arrangements do not change salary, benefits, job responsibilities, leave policies, or other terms of employment.
University policy is to allow employees to telework when the employing department determines that teleworking will allow work to be performed effectively and productively.
There are two kinds of telework arrangements:
A regular telework arrangement may be established in response to an employee request, or may be required by the employing department due to the nature of the position. A written telework agreement typically documents the details and requirements of the arrangement.
Regular telework agreements can be ongoing or for a prescribed time, are revocable at the employer’s discretion, and are subject to prior approval by the supervisor, department head, or as required by the school, college, administrative unit, etc. An employee may rescind a voluntary telework arrangement by providing notice according to the terms of the agreement.
When employees are permitted to occasionally telework there should be documentation of the reason for teleworking, its duration, and the work to be completed. Documentation of occasional telework arrangements can be done by email.
When inclement weather prevents an employee from coming to work, teleworking can allow the employee to accomplish work from home so long as the supervisor determines that the employee can do so effectively and safely.
A successful telework arrangement must work for both the department and the employee.
Managers determine telework feasibility by evaluating the following:
Employees should realistically assess their ability to accomplish work in the home environment.
Teleworking employees are covered by workers' compensation for job-related injuries that occur in the course and scope of employment. Where the telework site is in the home, workers' compensation does not cover injuries that are not job related. Employees who work out of state or out of the country in one location for more than 30 days need workers' compensation coverage specific to that location. Contact the Office of Risk Management for information regarding coverage.
Several states mandate participation in state disability insurance programs. Contact the Benefits & WorkLife Office for information on enrollment and disability insurance payroll deductions for employees located out of state or out of the country.
For information on general liability insurance issues relating to telework, contact the Office of Risk Management.
Employees are responsible for addressing and resolving any questions about the employee's ability to deduct expenses related to telework.
Telework Work Topics